Intel’s 12th-gen motherboards are getting cheaper, which is handy if you’re planning a new build around one of Intel’s excellent 12100, 12400F or 12600F CPUs for gaming. One of the best deals we’ve spotted is for the Asus Prime B660M-A WiFi D4, which launched at £197 and is now down to £86 at CCL in the UK.
This motherboard uses better value DDR4 memory, two M.2 PCIe 4.0 slots and WiFi 6 on board, so it ticks a lot of boxes in terms of the essentials. You’re missing some things from higher-end Z690 boards – like PCIe 5.0, USB-C ports and 2.5-gig networking – but nothing that affects gaming performance, at least in the here and now.
Note that this is a mATX motherboard, so this is very slightly smaller than a full-size ATX motherboard and only comes with one full-size PCIe x16 slot. That’s not a problem for most users, who’ll only install a graphics card, but if you’re looking to add networking cards, PCIe M.2 adapters or other expansion boards that require more than an x4 or x1 slot then a full- size ATX board may be a better choice.
I should cover the DDR4 vs DDR5 question as well. It’s true that DDR5 does provide better performance in many games, but only in the most CPU-limited scenarios will you see any difference. For example, in games like Ashes of the Singularity Escalation, which is rare in its utilization of as many CPU cores and threads as possible, I saw around a 10 percent performance advantage for the fastest DDR5 versus the fastest DDR4. In other games… well, you should read the RPS verdict, which is helpfully titled ‘Why you don’t need to upgrade your RAM for Intel Alder Lake’.
So: good, decently-reviewed Asus Prime motherboard, sufficient features for gaming and a nice deal for anyone trying to pair it with one of Intel’s new and surprisingly good value 12th-gen processors.
I’ll be back later today for more deals, but until then stay cool.